It's nice to clean up the site, but be careful of the side effects. Every time you edit a question or modify its tags, it gets pushed to the top of the recently modified list. This means editing 20 questions in a row, especially old ones, is a bad idea. Someone did this recently and now we have nothing but old junk on the first page.

A little cleanliness is good, but a lot makes a mess. I'd say not to "fix" more then 5 old questions at a time until those are no longer in the recent 50 active questions, then you can do it again. Everything in moderation.

That doesn't apply to tag wiki updates, does it? And close votes, will those push the question up to the active questions page? –  jippie Feb 26 '13 at 20:46
@Jipp: No, updates to tags themselves don't bump questions, and close/reopen votes don't either. Neither does adding a comment. Questions get bumped when the question is edited, a answer added or edited, or the tags changed. It was the latter causing the problem in this case. –  Olin Lathrop Feb 26 '13 at 21:09
I think someone is after the Archaeologist badge :) –  Chris Laplante Feb 27 '13 at 1:35
In that case I agree in concept with the proposal, but it'll be hard to enforce. –  jippie Feb 27 '13 at 7:42
@SimpleCoder it's never been awarded on EE and doesn't sound too challenging for silver. Maybe I should try myself ;o) –  jippie Feb 27 '13 at 7:44
Oops, I'm probably guilty of that on one occasion, I didn't know it bumped the questions so thanks for pointing it out. –  PeterJ Feb 27 '13 at 11:47
@Peter: No, it wasn't you, at least in this case. –  Olin Lathrop Feb 27 '13 at 14:13
@OlinLathrop: funny title, are you looking at going for a Rap career? –  Gustavo Litovsky Feb 27 '13 at 22:55
Would it make sense for the edit function to have an option to indicate whether the edit should be considered sufficient to constitute a "bump to top"? If one cannot fix a typo without bumping a question, it may be better to leave the typo than bump the question, but better still might be to fix the typo without bumping. –  supercat Mar 1 '13 at 18:25
@supercat that discussion is never ending on meta.SO and the answer is no, that will not be added. –  Kortuk Mar 1 '13 at 18:50
@Kortuk: There are many little things I would have fixed, but I haven't because I don't want to bump the question. This actually happens quite frequently. If I could do a minor edit and not bump the question, I'd probably do it 1-3 times a day. –  Olin Lathrop Mar 2 '13 at 15:31
@OlinLathrop for 1-3 times per day, you should do it! –  Kortuk Mar 2 '13 at 16:31
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2 Answers

I recently found several questions that needed better tags and retagged them. Had no idea they popped up since I spend most time on the newest questions.

But, I disagree with "now we have nothing but old junk on the first page."

Are old questions junk? Isn't it the explicit purpose of the site to provide answers to questions? Just because something is old doesn't mean it's junk.

Re tagging seems perfectly good given that it makes people find related questions easier. There's even a badge for it, so it would seem it's encouraged. The issue is not the retagging, it's the fact that they pop up as active and perhaps that needs to be changed by the developers.

Despite this, I'll avoid retagging so much.

Please feel free to retag, I appreciate that you are going through and improving, lets limit it to a trickle though. If it is a case where a tag needs to be merged or nuked let us know on meta and devs can handle it for tages with > ~20 uses. If it is just the question needs help, thanks for doing it and thanks for limiting yourself to a few a day! –  Kortuk Feb 27 '13 at 22:45
@Kortuk: Sure. I apologize for the inconvenience. Hadn't realized it had that effect. –  Gustavo Litovsky Feb 27 '13 at 22:54
I'm not trying to discourage you from cleaning up the site, just to not do a large batch like that all at one time. Maybe old questions aren't junk, but recent questions are certainly more urgent. If the front page is flooded with old questions, then the recently new questions will get pushed out and ignored and people will wonder why they don't get any response here. –  Olin Lathrop Feb 27 '13 at 23:07
@GustavoLitovsky Don't apologize for mistakes when you are making things better. It is fixed now and we can move forward. –  Kortuk Feb 27 '13 at 23:54
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Yes, dont bump more then ~5 questions at once when doing edits.

If we need to axe an old tag and there are 40 uses we can have the devs nuke it from on high.

Who cares, the front page will be updated within a couple of ours anyway –  trygvis Feb 26 '13 at 23:12
I think Olin was referring to users who retag old questions. –  Chris Laplante Feb 26 '13 at 23:41
@trygvis that is standard for a site like SO, but for our site a who set of questions will flood bye. Telling people to manually nuke is not okay, it will do just that, flood the site. –  Kortuk Feb 27 '13 at 1:14
@SimpleCoder Could be the case, similar situation,let me edit to be more broad. –  Kortuk Feb 27 '13 at 1:14
That's great for nuking, but adding tags to an arbitrary number of questions, is there a way for you to do that? Or make tag edit's non-updating to the question? –  Passerby Mar 1 '13 at 18:47
@Passerby Nope. Before a tag is added to a large number of old questions it might be useful to discuss said tag on meta. Make tag edits non-bumping? No. perform tag merges and stuff without bumping, yes. –  Kortuk Mar 1 '13 at 18:50
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